The Future of Marijuana Policy: Southwest

The southwest is one of the most interesting regions in the U.S. regarding marijuana legalization, with Colorado providing a great example of successful policy implementation to the rest of the country.

Further legalization in the southwest would provide a huge market for cannabis companies and a great platform for growth.

Check out the list of states below that either have pending legislation or a potential 2014 ballot initiative.

Nevada (Recreational): Marijuana advocates are gathering signatures for a petition to legalize recreational marijuana use. The measure requires 102,000 signatures, and if met, would send the bill to the legislature in 2015. If the initiative does not get two-thirds of lawmakers to vote in favor, then it would be passed on to the voters in 2016, where it is projected to get broad support.

Outside of the current legislative realm, Stephen Frye (D), a long time marijuana activist, is running for Governor. Dr.Frye, a former professor at the UNR School of medicine, wrote the book “Monumental Fiasco: Our Drug War,” which cites 25 reasons to bring the war on drugs to an end. Frye claims that marijuana is “the safest recreational, over-the-counter or prescription drug in history,” and has made it quite clear that if elected, recreational legalization is on his agenda.

See also: The Future of Marijuana Policy: Northwest

These steps towards legitimate legalization are great, but 420 Investor Alan Brochstein notes that the structure of Nevada’s medical marijuana law is basically de facto recreational legalization. "You can lie, and get high." Dr.Reefer, an evaluation center in Las Vegas for prospective medical marijuana patients, advertises a 99% approval rate, with a money-back guarantee for patients that are not approved.

For a little more money, Dr. Reefer provides a “No Medical Records Required” approval option.

Nevada has a lot to gain through the legalization of marijuana, including tax revenue and increased tourism. The 420 Investor has heard rumors of a potential tourist complex geared towards marijuana users that could be built in Las Vegas following legalization.

The complex is rumored to contain a growth facility, lounge/restaurant, museum, and head shop.

Along with this potential tourist destination, marijuana companies have shown interest in bringing operations to Nevada. Terra Technologies (OTC: TRTC) announced that they’ve applied for a Nevada license to operate a cannabis business, and if legalization efforts succeed, many industry leaders are expected to follow.

Utah (Medical): Utah Governor Gary Herber (R ) signed Charlee's Law over the weekend, which will allows epileptics trial access to a seizure preventing cannabis oil.

The law is named after 6 year Charlee Nelson, who passed away from Batten Disease days after the legislature recognized her on the house floor.

Honorable Mentions:

Arizona (Recreational): There is a ballot initiative hopeful that is actively seeking signatures, but due to the lack of financial backing the minimum signature requirement will most likely not be met. This initiative has a more realistic chance for 2016.

New Mexico (Recreational): A recreational legalization bill was introduced in the state Senate, but further action has been postponed indefinitely.

**This is part two of a five-part series that covers every region of the United States. Check back soon to see the pending legislation/ballot initiatives in the Midwest**

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